Pandemic-stressed Bruneians find solace in hiking

Lyna Mohamad

To cope with the current outbreak, some Bruneians are trading gym and fitness clubs for hiking trails as a new hobby.

For Hajah Wati, the adjustment in her fitness routine and work hours led to a challenge in finding a way to indulge the need for exercise.

“My husband and I have always been fitness enthusiasts, while I have taken part in many running activities organised both locally and abroad,” she said.

“Our daily routine now involves going home for a rest, while deciding which trail to hit for the day. Usually, we will head to a place which is a short drive away, and make sure that our running or hiking time does not go beyond sunset hours.”

Hajah Wati also said that the daily hike provides some respite from daily pressure and a good way to bond with a partner who shares the same love for the outdoors.

“It’s beneficial, both physically and spiritually, and you wake up refreshed in the morning before going off to work,” she told the Weekend Bulletin.

Before the second wave hit the country last August, hiking trails were an almost daily routine for Rizan, in the company of close friends and relatives.

These days, he still takes to the trail, but manages to avoid close contact with his hiking partners while navigating the tranquil forest environment.

“It’s a welcome relief from stay-at-home stress and helps to reduce negative thoughts, aside from making us less dependent on technology,” he said.

To cope with the current outbreak, some are trading gym and fitness clubs for hiking trails as a new hobby
ABOVE & BELOW: Hajah Wati; and husband during their hiking activity; and Rizan welcome relief from stay-at-home stress by navigating tranquil forest environment. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD